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A Single Voice of the American Century

CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite, probably 1996. news, newsman, journalist, broadcast journalist, CBS Evening News
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This story originally appeared The Financial Decoder blog on CBS MoneyWatch.com. Jill Schlesinger is the Editor-at-Large for CBS MoneyWatch.com. Prior to the launch of MoneyWatch, she was the Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. In her infancy, she was an options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York.


When I walked through the CBS news room for the first time this past April, I was awestruck. I'll admit it-I'm not a jaded former investment adviser, I'm a delighted (and recent) convert to two "dying" industries: terrestrial news radio and network news. I find both to be amazing endeavors.

Special Section: Walter Cronkite: 1916-2009

Some have said to me that it's insane to think that a news program can cover the events of the day in a mere 22 minutes or that kids will listen to radio in the era of the I-Pod. Oh sure I know that news has become more fractured and that cable television and online citizen journalists will be the death-knell for my second career, but when there's a major news event, we grasp for someone-anyone to tell us what is happening with clarity, honesty and candor.

That's why when the announcement of Walter Cronkite's death came across the wires, those of us who grew up with Cronkite as a daily fixture in our lives were so sad. Maybe we can't have an "Uncle Walter" in an complicated inter-connected, web-based world of 2009, but as I watched all of those rich clips of American history in the twentieth century, it was sure was terrific to have him as long as we did.

I've been thinking that the demise of real old-time journalism is a sad fact of life. Then again, without real news organizations like TV networks, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and many other fine regional and local outlets, what would 90% of bloggers write about?

It's fitting that so many current major news figures contributed to the CBS hour-long tribute last night. I don't know, but I bet that ratings for the show were pretty good for a Sunday in the summer-a last ditch effort for some of us to cling to a time that we know has passed. And that's the way it was…
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    Jill Schlesinger, CFP®, is the Emmy-nominated, Business Analyst for CBS News. She covers the economy, markets, investing and anything else with a dollar sign on TV, radio (including her nationally syndicated radio show), the web and her blog, "Jill on Money." Prior to her second career at CBS, Jill spent 14 years as the co-owner and Chief Investment Officer for an independent investment advisory firm. She began her career as a self-employed options trader on the Commodities Exchange of New York, following her graduation from Brown University.